Friday, June 8, 2012

Lessons learned and moving forward…

Throughout this seminar there were a few observations that occurred to me time after time.  I was impressed by the many ways colleagues embraced specific 2.0 technologies and integrated them into their assignments and in the classroom. The level of creativity and willingness to try new modalities was inspiring here. And although there were challenges-scheduling labs, helping students set-up blogs and the like the results seemed well worth the effort.

Students who embraced the technology really seemed to take their learning to another level. It seems that having students from two classes working together was a very effective strategy.  Students working together in that way seemed to generate a synergy that might not have happened otherwise here. (I also believe that using technology in this way is important to students’ professional development preparing them for tasks they will perform in the workplace.) 

Another observation is the amount of time and energy it takes to build these technologies into the classroom. The learning curve, at least for me, was much steeper than I expected.   I spent the year exploring ways to use Blogger and NING to share career planning and labor market information to help students and advisors make sound decisions. I explored many blogs to find examples to use as a guide. I end this seminar still uncertain of how to achieve my vision. I will preserve until I figure it out.

Based on these observations I learned that it would be helpful to start with an identified group that has something in common. My goal was to engage the college community-faculty, staff and students- that was very unrealistic to say the least. As the College implements plans to realign Student Affairs and Academic Affairs I will be moving from ACE to Student Affairs and heading a Career Development Center for credit students. Web 2.0 technology will play an important role in the development of services and this seminar has helped me see some of the possibilities.

Bloom’s Taxonomy was new to me and developing an understanding of it was helpful. It helped me to organize the materials for a hands-on resume writing workshop that will be used in ACE vocational training programs. It seems to be effective because participants are learning new information (currently accepted resume practices) and applying it to their personal and work experience. This workshop is being piloted now and will be evaluated over the summer.

I have incorporated Diigo and Evernote into my personal life and that’s helping me achieve my goal of a paperless household.

The most challenging aspect of the seminar was that I found myself overwhelmed by the wide variety of 2.0 technologies that we discussed. I felt like I need to incorporate everything into my project and that was paralyzing- (and faulty thinking on my part). A focus on a few options and going into greater depth would have been helpful to me.  

My suggestion to future 2.0ers is to go into the seminar with another faculty member as partner. I think it might be helpful to have smaller communities within the larger one that focused on a similar assignment or a particular technology.

I am keeping my eye on how the strategy of “flipping the classroom” develops over the next couple of years here. I like the idea of learning material in advance and then working with an instructor to follow-up on areas that are unclear. I am also interested in watching how sites such as iTunes University and the Khan Academy develop. I see these sites as a supplement to classroom learning rather than as a replacement for classroom learning.  I’ve used both and have found them to be useful when pursuing a subject of interest. Crowd sourcing has some potential in the classroom too. So many good things on the horizon here!


  1. Hi Judith,

    I liked seeing your technological journey using different platforms throughout the year.

    I, too, would like to become more paperless, and your comments about using Evernote and Diigo to accomplish this have re-invigorated my goals in this area. I TRIED to have a digital calendar this year, but ended up going back to paper.... but we have such great digital/online tools - paper should not be necessary!

    I, too, am really interested in "flipping the classroom" and am planning to move toward that method in my linguistics class this fall. It would maximize class time, if students would do the work outside of class.


  2. I agree with you, Judith, that it was difficult managing the multitude of web technologies that were introduced in this seminar. Other than Blogger, there were no other technologies that we learned that I have added into my course content...yet. Once I have had time to process all of the things we learned, I will decide on further tools (like Twitter) to incorporate. I believe in the power of simplicity. Students seem to start shutting down when I ask them to learn too many new skills in addition to the existing course content.

    I agree with your suggestion for future C2.0 participants to buddy-up. This could be very helpful to learn the practical applications and best practices with the web technologies.

  3. Judith, a very interesting journey indeed. Sometimes I felt like a kid in the candy shop with so many technology options available and not knowing which to choose. The learning curve for so many of these technology choices sometimes I think limits our choice based strictly on time management. Your new area of work sounds exciting and getting the chance to use this new technology is a great opportunity for you. Good luck to you in your new endeavors.

  4. I think the coolest thing is how we all started incorporating new web tools into our professional and personal lives. I support the teaming/buddy-up with somebody else. I would have not made it without Prof. Meangru and our weekly meetings to brainstorm and keep up with our blog duties.
    Co-blogging and co-facilitating is the way to go. If you want proof, just see how great Ximena and Jason make this all seem like great fun!

  5. I wanted to have a mentor for this seminar. We had a small group mentoring session last time and I think it was good for me. Entering this seminar as a pair is a good idea, but is it realistic? I tried but never found a colleague who would be willing to teach hybrid or online, except our "hybrid master" Ari Richter. Rethinking definitions of co-teaching or connecting students may be future options.